Sporting KC played like the last place team in MLS tonight. Which they they still are. But, there are positives.
Quick Wrap Up:
The last place team in the MLS took on the first place team in the Eastern Conference. And as you would expect, the last place team lost. Specifically to a 22' minute goal by Englishman Luke Rodgers. But, SKC was arguably the better team in the second half.
There were some major changes in the lineup for SKC tonight. Specifically, Aiyegbusi for Espinoza at left back, Cesar for Besler at central defense, Zusi for Stojcev at center attacking mid, and Auvray for the suspended Diop at center defensive mid. Originally I thought the reason Vermes had started Aiyegbusi at left back was meant to match the pace of Dane Richards, which Aiyegbusi did. But, as we learned later in the game, it was because Espinoza had contracted some type of flu at the last minute. The switch at center back was because Vermes thought that they needed a calmer center half to deal with NY's attack. The other changes were due to suspension and the need to freshen up the team that had lost two times in a row before coming into Red Bull Arena.
You have got to give the man of the match to Jimmy Nielsen. He was absolutely sensational back there, making some very, very crucial saves when SKC needed them the most. That's what you need in a goalkeeper, someone that can keep you in the game and provide inspiration to the rest of the team. The other top performers for SKC would have to be Smith and Collin. Smith because, after he came in for the non-existent CJ Sapong, he was brilliant and provided the width and dribbling that SKC needed. And Collin because he was a commanding presence at the back and provided some nice blocks and the energy that KC have desperately needed the last couple of games. Also, I give a nod to Julio Cesar who, after some terrible performances earlier in the season, came into his own this match.
- Defense definitely looked more improved this week
- Smith is back in the squad and is looking very good
- Collin is the answer to our defensive woes
- Diop didn't play...
- We only lost 1-0
- We lost
- Sapong looked like a ghost
- Bunbury tried to do it all on his own
- Midfield underperformed
- We are still last in the MLS
In the end it's another loss. There's no way of sugar coating it, in the end we're in last place, in the end we didn't score. But, in the end we're one game closer to our home opening, in the end we can know that Bravo is closer to the starting XI every week, in the end we know that not many other teams, in fact, none have to start the season with a 10 game road trip. So yeah, we lost to the best team in the East 1-0. But that's just it, who else can say they went to Red Bull Arena and lost by only one? No one. Certainly not the San Jose Earthquakes who were thrashed 3-0 a week ago.
The best thing SKC can do now is, reorganize and maintain the goal set before the season, that is, to come back home with a minimum of 10 points. Luckily we have a chance to do that, with the bye given to us this week, we can refocus and try and get results in the final stretch of this away trip. I just hope that in two weeks time when we face LA Galaxy and David Beckham, we're ready.